Posted: October 25, 2015
4 minute read

State of The Apps - Essentials in 2015

At my previous job, I got asked about what applications I frequently use. While setting up a new computer I spent a lot of time evaluating previously used apps and consider only what works best for me. Here are some essential apps that I use on a daily basis.

Productivity

  • Alfred - I presume many people do not like spotlight search and Alfred seems to do a much better job. With the powerpack included, I have optimized parts of my workflow. It also integrates very well with other apps like 1Password, terminal.app and iTunes.

  • 1Password - Since I started using 1Password, I honestly have to remember 3 passwords. I have worked as an information security specialist and know too well of the dangers related to re-using passwords. These days I get frustrated when a service or website does not allow >24 characters in passwords or limits me to use numbers and letters only. Maybe I’m too paranoid about this.

  • OmniFocus - It works, trust me! I have started to manage almost all aspects of my life in OmniFocus and for the unseeable future, I will not look back. A really nice feature is that you can have templates for your reoccurring tasks.

Reading

  • Airmail - Reading email has never been easier. I love the concept of inbox Zero and have implemented this to my whole daily routine. Airmail helps with this a lot. It is fast and easy to use. PS! It supports my strict whitelist criteria with SpamSieve.

  • Reeder 3 for Mac - I have more than enough info feeds that I read on a daily basis. Reeder is this one magical app that allows me to digest more information without the additional advertising and blinking images. These days I can not live without it.

Writing

  • DayOne - Yes, I keep a private journal. Unfortunately, I’m as bad writing in it as I’m keeping a blog. So these days I keep making short notes and writing down emotions, usually before going to sleep. DayOne is definitely the best app for this.

Code and snippets

  • Brackets - Some time ago I used to be a huge fan of TextMate but unfortunately the app went in a direction that is not suitable for me personally anymore. Brackets fits my current needs perfectly, it is a very good code editor for those tiny updates that sometimes need to be done. It is also the only code editor that I use that is not a terminal app.

Communication

  • Textual - Probably the best IRC client. At least it is one of the most stable ones around. I know, IRC in 2015 is lame but I’m still a bit old-school and can not really give up that addiction.

  • Slack - Team communication has never been easier. For me it is the best team IM solution currently available, providing public chats with a topic and private group conversations as well. There are many competitors out there, every single one has it’s good and bad sides. I have been using Fleep for almost a year until recently, but it has a different end goal(merge email with IM) and therefore these 2 apps can really not be compared.

Office Suite

  • Office365 - Unfortunately this is still a must in this day and age. But hey, it is software on lease. It provides some fantastic online features complimenting the offline software. I would gladly swap over to Apple’s iWork(Pages, Numbers, Keynote) suite but it keeps messing up the excel tables of others. It is an industry standard, almost everyone uses it.

Miscellaneous

  • F.lux - If you are one of those people who work behind a computer from the moment they wake up until they fall asleep, then this app is essential to you. It makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day. This is very good for your eyes and helps you to fall asleep better.

  • Caffeine - It prevents my computer from automatically going to sleep. This is very helpful for those occasional moments when you need the computer to run uninterrupted.

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Tags:
  • mac apps
  • alfred
  • 1password
  • omnifocus
  • airmail
  • spamsieve
  • reeder
  • dayone
  • brackets
  • textmate
  • textual
  • slack
  • fleep
  • office365
  • flux
  • caffeine